Prenouns are modifiers that attach to nouns of either gender. Nouns use the same form of the prenoun regardless of gender or plurality.
The dictionary does not list accents on prenouns, because accents can vary based on the noun to which it attaches.
Prenouns attach to nouns using a hyphen to form a compound noun.
Yool ha askíi-wuyóos. This is raw meat.
Wan ha machíi-skuhúnzuw. This is a bad boy. Yook ha machíi-skuhúnzuwak. These are bad boys. Machíi-máhkahkw. Bad pumpkin. Machíi-mahkáhkwal. Bad pumpkins.
Máxkii- aníixănak. Red shoelaces. Máxkii-ahpapóonal. Red chairs. Niil ha laawéewii-wteehíimal. Those are wild strawberries.
Xúwii-pambíilak. Old books or papers.
thii– cold (tăhii-)
Thii-mbuy. Cold water.
Prenouns on possessed nouns:
The prefix for possession attaches to the prenoun, but suffixes go on the end of word:
Mulúk. Milk (ni) Numúlkum. My milk. Thii-mulúk. Cold milk. Ndáhii-mulúk. My cold milk. **Thii-numúlkum.** (ungrammatical) (Reference John O'Meara The Delaware Stem)
Prenouns on diminutive nouns:
These compound nouns also function as one big word, and the softening of consonants associated with use of the diminutive suffix (ush) will affect the prenoun like it affects the noun.
Thii-asún. Cold stone. Chahíi-ashúnush. Cold little stone.
Particles and prenouns
Some prenouns have detached from nouns to become invariable particles. Xúwii meaning ‘old’ is an example.
Pámbiil. Book. Mbambíilum. My book. Xúwii-pámbiil. Old book. Numoxwúwii-pampíilum. My old book. Xúwii kweekw. Old thing.
The root of xúwii is (moxuw) and this explains the unusual beginning pattern of many nouns which start with the letter ‘x’.
Dependent Nouns with prenoun
For example: my nice uncle ..
There is no way to remove the possessive prefixes to allow for a prenoun in this case. So one would have to use a workaround.
Pámbiil. Book. Pshíhkii-pámbiil. Nice book. Mbshíhkii-pámbiil. My nice book. Nzhiis. My uncle. Nzhiis pshíhku-und. My nice uncle. (my uncle who is nice) Nzhíis wéelsiit. My uncle, the nice one. Wulúsuw nzhiis. My uncle is nice.
These solutions involve use of preverbs and participles, to be discussed in upcoming chapters.
Go to the prenouns practicum